Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Come one Come all!


Science on Tap

Thursday, October 3, 2013
5:30 pm
Cosmo Tapas
4200 Central Ave SE


Parasites, bugs, and creepy-crawlies in our backyard:

Raising Chagas Disease awareness in local communities

What we don’t know about our environment can have a direct impact on our daily lives, health, and well-being.  Chagas’ Disease is a long-term chronic disease that causes heart disease and digestive problems yet resides latent for decades with no apparent symptoms.  While Chagas is often thought of as “the disease on the other side of the border,” and associated with substandard housing, it also has the potential to emerge in New Mexico as human interactions with the environment increase.  Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas, is found in the Kissing Bug (Triatoma) vector, which are known to cohabitates with Neotoma (rats).  All three, parasites, bugs, and rodents have been found to live in New Mexico’s recreational backyards such as
the Gila Wilderness.  Scientists  located T. cruzi in Triatome bugs 50 years ago near Tyrone, but until 2011, no one continued the search for the parasite.  This talk will provide an overview of the 1959 discovery of T. cruzi and the 2011 efforts to locate it in specific geographic areas.  This fun and informative talk will convey the interesting interactions of the parasite/bug/rodent and how it affects our day-to-day living. 



Marjorie McConnell holds a Master's degree in Social Science from Utah State University, and earned a PhD in Medical Sociology from the University of New Mexico. Her dissertation involved measuring behavior changes in response to hantavirus outreach programs in northwestern New Mexico, Panama, and Chile. Her experience with interdisciplinary teams expanded in 2010 with the creation of the Geo-Epidemiology Research Network (GERN), including team members from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the New Mexico Consortium, New Mexico universities, University of Texas at El Paso, and the University of Kansas. GERN takes an interdisciplinary research perspective in the Geo-spatial nuances of infectious diseases. Her current research interests are within the social-epidemiology and ecology of hantavirus, Chagas, and emerging infectious diseases.  In addition to her appointment as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, she has duties and responsibilities as Director of Core Services at the Long Term Ecological Research Network Office housed at the University of New Mexico.  Marjorie is also a Certified Research Administrator, with more than 21 years of direct experience in grant, cooperative agreement, and contract management.


1 comment:

  1. It's really interesting information indeed for the visitors and thanks for posting here.